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Tour Report: Hanse explains 18th green changes

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A look at the 18th green on Tuesday, three days prior to the start of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Mike McAllister/PGATOUR.COM A look at the 18th green on Tuesday, three days prior to the start of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

NORTON, Mass. – The players in this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship will encounter a redesigned green when they reach TPC Boston’s finishing hole.

Since the end of last year’s event, the 18th green has been raised approximately two feet. Other changes were made to the surrounding area, making recovery shots more difficult. In addition, there is a new approach area in front that allows players the option to bounce their approach shots on the green.

The bottom line is that the 530-yard par-5 18th should be tougher to play. In the last three years, the 18th has been the easiest hole on the course and has not played to a stroke average higher than 4.5 during that span.

Gil Hanse, who will team with Amy Alcott to design the course for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, led the redesign of TPC Boston in 2007 with Jim Wagner of Hanse Golf Course Design and oversaw the changes to the 18th green.

Here is Hanse ’s explanation of the changes at the 18th green:


“As with the other changes to the TPC Boston course, the changes to the 18th green were designed to inspire more choices and thoughts for the golfers facing the challenge. While the challenge of the original green was primarily one of distance control, we believe that the new green will provide additional challenge in the variety of play from the surrounds, and will ask the golfer to contemplate angles of approach from the fairway and shape of shot as well as distance control.

“By angling the green from the front left to back right, the golfer will be more aware of how they approach the green and from what side of the fairway they want to approach the green, based on their preferred ball flight. By extending the thought process from the green back to the tee shot, we feel that we have placed a higher premium on accuracy off the tee and a greater emphasis on the thought process for the tee shot, which is primarily what golf architecture is about.

“With regards to the surrounds, we have provided an approach so that the golfers will feel as if they can land the ball short of the green and have it feed toward the green. The original green did not have any approach, hence the primary reliance on distance control as the defense for the green. We have also added a tightly mown chipping area to the left of the green to inspire creativity in the recovery shots from around the green, rather than the one-dimensional approach of the previous green complex. The bunkering to the right of the green remains in place and a few islands have been added to increase the uncertainty in playing from this bunker. To the short left of the green is a small bunker that creates a very interesting visual from the fairway, as the bunker appears to be much closer to the green than it really is.

“Our goal was not necessarily to make the hole more difficult, as we believe that the drama created by this short par 5 has been one of the highlights of the tournament. Instead we are hopeful that the players will find that the requirements of this hole will not necessarily make it appreciably harder or easier, but rather we believe that an added emphasis on positioning, recovery, and shape of shot will make the hole a more interesting puzzle to be solved.”

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